Dark Meatlove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Dark Meat

I’ll admit it. I have avoided dark meat. Like that pile of laundry you continue to walk by and starts to overflow out of the basket, you finally throw your hands in the air and say “OK, I’ll do it!” Magazines have been giving these cuts of meat a new life recently and well, if you think about it, it makes sense. Dark meat can require long-cooking times in the oven – perfect for fall – and are wallet friendly – perfect for the economy – so it’s a win/win folks. Plus, if you avoid the skin of dark meat you are actually consuming almost the same amount of calories and fat but could be getting more nutritional benefits, like zinc and iron, than their white meat counterparts. I’m serious! See here and here.

Now all of this is coming to you from a person who claimed to not like dark meat because I had heard the fat rumors and I don’t know, something about it just didn’t appeal to me. Well, it just goes to show that as usual, I was wrong lambs. I just made two dark meat dishes back-to-back for dinner this weekend and am currently swooning over the flavors. The Apple-Braised Turkey Thighs recipe from Everyday Food and Chicken Smothered in Gravy recipe from Food & Wine are two prime and lip-smacking examples of dark meat goodness.

Give these two a try, although if I had to choose just one give the turkey thighs a chance. Of course I would choose the one that doesn’t have a Web link.
Also, I just noticed that this is my 98th post, wow how time flies. I want to do something special for my 100th post. What should I do, what should I do?!
Everyday Food
Apple-Braised Turkey Thighs
Serves 4
Prep Time: 30 MIN
Total time 2 1/2 HR
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 turkey thighs (about 2 pounds total)
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 Cortland or Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
2 cups of apple cider
14.5 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season turkey on both sides with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down. Cook until skin is golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer turkey to a plate and add shallots to pot. Cook until shallots soften, about 5 minutes. Add apples and cook until slightly softened, about five minutes.

2. Return turkey, skin side up, to pot; add cider and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, then place pot in oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours. Uncover, cook 30 minutes more.
3. Remove pot from oven and transfer turkey to plate. Skim fat from cooking liquid and stir in vinegar. Slice meat off bones (discard bones) and server turkey with apples and pan sauce.

One thought on “Dark Meatlove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Dark Meat”

  1. Good job, Emily! I'm a red meat lover and once you get over some of the extra tendons and weird moments, its so flavorful that it's hard to go back to the white stuff. You know what they say…"once you go dark, you never go back"

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